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'I discovered my wife got an STD test after a business trip, and then uncovered a web of lies.' UPDATED 5X

'I discovered my wife got an STD test after a business trip, and then uncovered a web of lies.' UPDATED 5X


"My [28M] wife [26F] got tested for STDs the same afternoon that she returned from an 8-week long business trip. Used a solo shopping trip to conceal the appointment."

My wife is a great person and we have always gotten along. We have been married for almost two years and we’ve been together for four and a half years. We are in a monogamous relationship and have both had several partners prior to our relationship.

Every year, my wife goes on a long business trip (typically about two months). During this time, communication over phone and email can be difficult, contingent upon the technological issues where she works. She really enjoys her work during the business trips and usually comes home feeling fulfilled and excited about life.

Normally when she comes home, she takes a day or two to rest and overcome the jetlag (28 hour travel time and 21 hour time difference). The following days, we tend spend lots of time together, intimacy, dates, cuddling, catching up etc. because she’s been gone so long.

This year, she came home as her same excited self after having had a great trip. In fact, she seemed so excited, that she wanted to work on some projects, but would need to go get some material from the store. About three hours after picking her up from the airport, she says she wants to go shopping for her craft project and that she will likely spend several hours out shopping.

She really emphasizes how much time she'll need to go shopping--many hours. I think this is a little weird considering that she just came back from a 28 hour flight, hasn’t slept, and she’s usually not the type to spend more than an hour or two shopping, but w/e it’s fine.

About 5 hours later, she comes home with a single bag of craft material, I register this as strange, but don’t really think about it. I chalk it up to taking a lot of time to pick out her materials, carefully selecting them instead of bulk buying.

Over the next few days, she didn’t really go through the jetlag phase and stayed distant. I thought that was weird but ended up giving her space and just focused on school. About two weeks post-return, we still haven’t hooked up, despite my advances and lightly prodding the issue (getting a “I’m just feeling off and don’t feel like it”).

I find that strange, since she is usually a 3-4 times a week kind of person and we’ve been exploring some new kinks prior to her trip—which we had talked about kindling once she returned. The first few times that she doesn’t reciprocate my advances, I don’t think anything of it.

We’ve always had a very open “No” policy and are attentive to one another needs i.e.—time, tired, not feeling it, need it now. After two weeks, the combination of her distance and no intimacy feels really “off.”

Over the weekend she went met up with her girlfriends for a day out. During that time, I snooped on her computer. If that bothers you, stop reading now. We have always been extremely open with our phones and social media—we both know our phone passwords/computer passwords/she knows my Facebook etc. While she was out with her friend, I looked on her computer.

She left her work and personal email, Reddit, and Facebook open/logged in. So I looked. Nothing out of the ordinary. I looked in the recycle bin and found that she had taken some self-nudes with her phone, sent them to her email, downloaded, then deleted them (hence the recycling bin). I thought that was odd, normally we would send nudes to each other, not put them on our computers—

maybe she really liked them (she did look hot) and decided to keep them. This has my gears turning, because she has been really disinterested in intimacy since returning, but is taking selfies in the nude wearing lingerie. I looked at the metadata on the picture, confirmed it was taken recently and that it was downloaded from Gmail.

I went and looked at her Gmail. Nothing terribly odd here—but anything before 3 days after returning home had been deleted from her inbox, then deleted from the trash folder / not-archived e.g. if she came home on the 1st, everything before the 4th was deleted. However, in her trash bin, was a confirmation of appointment for a health clinic in an adjacent city.

It had a link with a user ID to login into the patient portal if you needed to change your appointment. I logged in with the ID and her common passwords (which I already knew from us sharing). The portal is mostly empty, but showed that she had scheduled and kept an appointment the same afternoon that she got home from her trip.

The portal allows you to request records from visits, so I did. They were delivered to the portal about 30 minutes later. She had gone in for STD testing 5 hours after coming home from an 8-week business trip.

To summarize:

1.) Gets tested for STDs while saying she is going shopping the day she returns from an 8-week business trip.

2.) Concealed the fact that she was tested, didn’t leave phone number or address at clinic, careful to delete emails pertaining to the clinic, made cover excuse to go out

3.) Super distant with me (very engaging towards friends/coworkers)

4.) Says not interested in sleeping with me.

5.) On a similar business trip, she did almost the exact same thing. Got tested as soon as she got home (7-week trip), refrained from intimacy for about a week/distant, I found out via similar ways (shared computer, saw email from health clinic about results on portal).

Previously, when I asked her about it, she said she had a UTI and went in for a full STD panel. Totally plausible—I let it go. I just feel like there’s a pattern here. Also said that STD test was normal for women during checkups—although most clinics say that you must ask for the tests/reasonable suspicion. No real reason to suspect cheating, but this feels weird. All the elements of possibility are there I suppose.

Possible explanations: 1.) She had another health problem that seemed to resolve itself, maybe she wanted more followup and didn’t want to belabor me with the details—although the other health issue isn’t urogenital related. She didn't receive any tests that would aim to diagnose the concomitant issue.

2.) Health information could be weird if someone reading over your shoulder sees an email in your personal inbox from a clinic, so you delete it. I’m not sure this explains why her inbox was cleaned / stuff deleted from the Trash.

3.) Maybe she feels a little detached from me after being away for so long and needs more time to warm back up?

4.) Could have also had another UTI and got STD panel at the request of practitioner? Although, no antibiotics/treatments were administered during the visit / weren't documented

5.) Maybe she thought I was cheating and got tested? Although, 8-weeks later seems a little outside of the incubation period.

The secrecy of the whole thing really bothers me. Any ideas on how to approach this topic with my wife or other possible explanations?

What do you think? Commenters weighed in:

[deleted] said:

Ok, she's cheating. Before you confront her about it, and before you even decide how to handle the situation in any way, get YOUR personal information and access changed to be yours again. User names, email addresses, ALL PASSWORDS, any paper documentation you have concerning your identity and finances need to be secured in a way she cannot access the information.

This sounds like a pain in the ass, and preemptive. Trust me, it's not. The end of long term relationships does crazy sh!t to the human psyche. Spite has burned a lot of people to the ground in the past and it can happen to anyone. After that, decide what you are going to do beforehand and go through with it regardless of what she says. She is lying to you now, and it will only continue.

On a personal note, I'm sorry this happened to you. It's an awful and betrayed feeling that burns at night and smolders all day. It will slowly pass, but in the mean time you need to set yourself up for success in the future. Don't start tying your self worth and self image to what happened.

Some people are sh!tty, and are sh!tty to good people who deserve the same love and respect they are shown. Take extra time to work out, further your education or enjoy hobbies, boredom will be an enemy of your mental state. Alcohol and drugs will also be harmful, trust me on this, I love both drugs and alcohol but they fail in this situation.

[deleted] said:

"Honey, I know about the std checkup."

That's how you approach this situation.


She’s totally cheating


Coming from a woman, she’s cheating. Considering you paint your relationship to be so open, sharing passwords etc, why would she lie about where she was going and hide it from you if this was innocent?

I know it’s hard to hear but please put two and two together, she got checked for an STI after being away from you for 8 weeks - there’s no other reason than sleeping with someone else that she would do this, especially if she’s done this before.

Commenters all seem to agree: She's cheating.

He later shared this series of updates:

Update 1: Admitted to cheating on her trip. Says only once, evidence suggest at least N > 2.

Update 2: 3 confirmed in one trip. Digging in now.

Update 3: Typical "It was a one time thing" responses, "It was your fault" responses. Confirmed at least 3 dudes during her last trip, likely systemic serial cheater since we've been together.

Refuses to admit anything outside this business trip even though she had carbon copy behavior 2 years ago. Refuses to be honest. Claims she wasn't going to meet anyone on her current "solo" camping trip, I know otherwise. Keep catching her in lies. Filing papers meow.

Update 4: It's at least 4 now. 1 on her first trip 2 years ago, hence the STD test then. Mutual friend knew about it, kept it secret. This is days / a week after we got engaged.

Two months after his original post, he shared this update:

Hey folks. I’m at D-Day +55 and I wanted to share a little bit more of my story and just talk it out. It gets a bit lonely at night and that’s when my gears start cranking without the noise of the day to keep up distractions—so writing it out and clearing the air is perhaps cathartic.

Wife and I have been married for 1.5 years, together for 4.5. We are both graduate students. I’m working towards my MD/PhD in genetics and she is working towards her PhD in microbiology. No kids, few assets, not much debt. Here’s the backstory if you’d like more information:

tl;dr backstory: SO secretly got tested for STDs the day she returned from a long business trip; I found out, confronted her, SO admitted to sleeping with 3 people on the trip and 1 person two years ago.

Luckily, we study at different schools. I’m on the West Coast (where she was residing with me and working remotely) and she studies at my undergraduate institution in another state. When I found out and confronted her, she was on her way back to her school to do lab work and have committee meetings.

So our communications were largely conducted via text messaging and email—she was too much of a coward to speak to me on the phone. I suppose the discovery of infidelity in one’s relationship is shocking and painful and begins to pave an arduous road towards the penultimate reconciliation or the parsing of community property. In my case, it’s been the latter.

It’s not the hook ups that bothers me, I can understand those inclinations—I’m a biologist. Attraction, emotional investment, feeling wanted, the taboo of risk, adrenaline; those things make sense to me. What I could not understand is how my wife, someone I adore and respect immensely, could lie to her affair partners about who and what I am.

It’s like her inner monologue flowed freely to them—her true thoughts about me expressed vocally. That made me physically sick. I'm not a bad guy, I've always been there for my wife--we jived on every level from toilet paper orientation to politics, humor, hobbies, and intimacy. It just doesn't make sense.

During the post-mortem, I’ve often come to the realization that, as a partner on a two-way street, I could have always done more or achieved a stronger marriage. That’s the sentimental part of my brain saying, “Look at all these missed opportunities for communication and growth.

If you had really loved your wife, you would’ve figured it out and met her needs.” That’s a deadly game of roulette to play—the retrospective “what-if” on infinite regression plays discordantly upon the soul.

If the discovery of infidelity wasn’t shocking enough, I also asked my wife to reconcile—she denied. I gave her a list of demands with 7 items. The header reads: “The ground rules. If you choose not to comply or I suspect that you have failed to comply with these rules, I will divorce you.”

Here is the abridged version of what I asked for:

You will allow me unfettered access to your phones, accounts, devices, and computers at any time without hesitation.

You will forfeit and show me all communications and materials of all extra-marital relations that you’ve engaged in—no matter how minor or how insignificant you feel they were.

You will allow me to professionally recover data from your phone and other devices. If there is something that you haven’t told me yet or haven’t given me the full story, this would be a good time to do so—I extend you amnesty for other grievances notwithstanding lying.

You will contact all parties that you’ve engaged with—in any way—and explain that you were in a monogamous relationship, your husband knows, and that you screwed up. You will apologize for misleading anyone about your relationship status and you will contact their partners and explain what happened.

You will get tested for STDs and STIs every month for the next six months—including blood panels. This information will be made available to me at my request.

You will seek and engage in cognitive behavioral therapy until you have been treated for your dysmorphia, eating disorder, and have healthy managed your traumas. You and I will receive marriage counseling indefinitely or until we both feel that our problems have been resolved. We will both engage in communication coursework or reading.

Rules for opening the relationship

Maybe too controlling? Everything that I asked her for, I also offered to reciprocate where applicable.

The first bloodletting was the discovery of the infidelity and the mortal strike was her denying me safety in the relationship through dismissal of my needs. Once it was clear that she wasn’t trying to reconcile, I was ready burn it to the ground.

I threatened to contact her partners, contact her APs SOs, file professional misconduct complaints (one AP was her physician), contact her research board about misconduct, and contact her direct bosses (people whose image is jeopardized by her actions).

She freaked out and suddenly become extremely receptive to what I was asking for. Begged me not to ruin her career. Begged me not tell anyone. I felt bad, apologized, and told her I wouldn’t do that. By then, she had already gone to her bosses and conveyed some truth-trickled story to them.

I obviously added a lot more pain to the situation by playing that card. This was almost a month ago. She filed for divorce the next day, threatened to file an order of protection so that I wouldn’t contact people in her life, and then told me should couldn’t forgive me for threatening to expose her like that.

That’s when I woke up. I had been drowning, undergoing hemorrhagic shock, and the hypothermia was creeping in. I had been desperately trying to get my wife--on the shoreline--to throw me a life preserver. My actions caused her to get her feet wet and she couldn’t handle it. I started to understand who she was—weak and cowardly. Not exactly life-partner material.

A few weeks later, I had realization—it’s like she died. That’s what the pain and emptiness and anger feels like. I found out later that she was still in contact with one of her partners. Another punch in the gut.

Anyways, that’s where I’m at; I applaud you if you made this far. Our divorce is underway and will hopefully be resolved cleanly. For the time being, things here are quiet, empty, and lonely. My school work has suffered and I'm thinking about taking some time off to process everything. Thanks for listening.

Onwards and upwards, OP!

Sources: Reddit
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